MBTA Completes Track Work on Orange Line; Removes Six Speed Restrictions

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Crews worked to perform critical track and tie replacement work during this Orange Line diversion. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) reports the progress made on its Orange Line and subsequent removal of six speed restrictions.

During a suspension in service between North Station and Oak Grove from June 22nd to 23rd and between North Station and Wellington from June 24th to 30th, MBTA took advantage of the pause to complete work to track areas. Crews were able to complete their work in order to remove six safety-related speed restrictions. Originally, there were four speed restrictions planned to be lifted. A full list of speed restrictions can be found here.

Track work was accomplished along the Orange Line. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng said, “We continue to accomplish long deferred maintenance, repairs, and full-depth track replacement across our system, fulfilling our commitment to our riders and the communities we serve, delivering reliable, safe, and quicker trips. . . With each diversion, we maximize better planning, scoping, and coordination. I’m proud of our workforce and our contractors working side by side as we deliver these important upgrades and thank our riders for their continued patience while we work to deliver them a safer, smoother, and more reliable trip.”

Crews worked in critical track areas during this Orange Line diversion. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.
Crews performed improvement work along the Orange Line. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

With unencumbered access, MBTA was able to perform work for its Track Improvement Program. According to the MBTA, the program is a “major track repair and replacement initative to eliminate 191 speed restrictions. . . and bring all tracks into a five-year state of good repair by the end of 2024.” The work included upgrading track and ties that led to removing speed restrictions between Community College and Sullivan Square. Additionally, crews worked on signal and station amenity upgrades. These included new lighting, painting, tiling, and power washing among others.  

Work included tamping thousands of feet of track along the Orange Line. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

Along the Orange Line, crews: 

  • “Replaced over 5,700 feet of running rail. 
  • “Replaced nearly 3,200 ties.
  • “Resurfaced and tamped 10,500 feet of track.
  • “Performed 657 feet of full depth track construction.
  • “Performed critical signal and switch modernization work between Oak Grove and Assembly.
  • “Accomplished stair repairs at Sullivan Square and Community College.
  • “Continued work to upgrade the station entrance at Community College.
  • “Security upgrades were accomplished at Assembly.
  • “Drainage repairs were performed at Sullivan Square.
  • “Cable repairs and inspections were performed throughout the shutdown area.
  • “Performed inspections, maintenance, and repairs, including upgrading station lighting where needed.”
Crews also performed stairwell replacement work at stations throughout the Orange Line. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

As well on the Orange Line, crews replaced five damaged fencing poles along the right of way and performed painting improvements and HVAC work. A station gate was repaired at Assembly. At Sullivan Square, crews cleaned and made platform repairs. At Community College, they worked to clean and remove debris as well as complete HVAC work. Throughout the shutdown area, they also cleaned and/or replaced signage.

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